Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



mini kits, big picture.

Last Summer I introduced the Project Life Childhood Mini Kits in THIS post, including a video. I got all philosophical and really dug into in explaining the purpose behind my product development – and how these little kits evolved to be. If you haven’t seen the video, I encourage you to check that out. You’ll see how I personally love to use the cards in my kids’ albums as I flip through a years’ worth in Porter’s scrapbook.

Today I have some explaining to do. I want to explain the who, what, how, when, where, and why about these Childhood Mini Kits – and how they might fit into the “big picture” of your memory-keeping. As a reminder, all 3 editions are currently 20% off this week. This is the time to pick these up. The direct links are on our Products page in the Core Kits + Mini Kits section.


WHO are these Childhood Mini Kits for?

This is for the mom who feels totally overwhelmed about the very idea of documenting her child’s life. This is for the person whose child is no longer a child, but they have a desire to go back and create an album (or more) of their son or daughter’s childhood memories. This is for the person who wants to go back and record their own childhood (check out Jessica Turner’s college scrapbook!). And this is most definitely for the kid (of any age) who wants to record their own story – past or present.

WHAT comes in a Childhood Mini Kit?

A Mini Kit includes 100 cards. There are (20) 4×6 Title Cards, which are completely flexible to use either vertical or horizontal (same design printed on both sides, but different orientations). There are (40) 3×4 Prompt Cards, which are also flexible (horizontal or vertical) and include journaling prompts about childhood and school memories – various topics in a child’s life. And there are (40) coordinating 3×4 Journaling Cards that can be used for any kind of notes on one side, and the other side has a “filler design” in case you have nothing to write in that particular space.

Note: There are 3 editions of the Childhood Mini Kit – Bridgeport, Mayfield, and Wellington. Same prompts, same designs for the most part, but different color palettes. Be sure to click on each one so you are familiar with the difference between the 3 options.

HOW was the Childhood Mini Kit designed to work?

The kit was designed with complete versatility in mind. The prompts are worded in such a way that they’re not just for a child to write about their own life, or a parent to write about the child. For example, instead of saying “my favorite teachers” or “your favorite teachers” … the card says “favorite teachers”. So the kit was designed so that parent – or child – can use the cards to document life.

The kit was designed with 3×4 and 4×6 cards – just as you would expect out of any Project Life kit – so that they work beautifully with the Photo Pocket Pages that we offer.

The kit was designed to document a full year’s worth in a child’s life. The photos below will outline that concept. Or … you can certainly spread them out across several years.

Be sure to check out our INSPIRATION page which shows sample Project Life pages using the Childhood Mini Kits. Those were created with no extra embellishing. Just photos + cards slipped into Photo Pocket Pages. Simple. Fast. Fun. DONE. And it looks amazing.

WHEN is the best time to use the Childhood Mini Kit cards?

The kit was designed so that you could fill the cards out throughout the year – kind of “as you go” or “in the moment” … or … as a totally retrospective project for those who want to go back and document the past. In other words, any time is the best time.  : )

WHERE should I include the Childhood mini Kit cards?

The kit was designed to provide plenty of cards that you can use throughout a 12×12 album, but as we’ve seen this week, a Mini Kit has the perfect number of cards to include in a Project Life Mini Album with your photos.

Let’s not forget to think outside the box. Those adorable 3×4 cards are SO great for little notes in your child’s lunch box or backpack. Or leave a little stack of those cards out with a pen and invite everyone in the family to jot down random compliments toward one another – or what they’re grateful for – and then … (you know where I’m going with this) … those cards slip right into the 3×4 pockets in the Project Life Photo Pocket Pages!

WHY does a little box of cards have to be so awesome?

I know, right? They are so fun. So beautifully designed (go Lori!). So versatile and user-friendly and inspiring.


Now – Let’s talk big-picture. This is for those of you who are planners like me. Or maybe you don’t think of yourself as “organizationally-minded” and so you’d like some help. I love the idea of beginning with the end in mind, and want to share with you my thoughts on this as it pertains to the Childhood Mini Kits.

If you are beginning with the end in mind, I encourage you to envision what your child might be physically bringing with them in terms of scrapbooks, when they move out of the house as a young adult. This thinking + planning exercise can be very helpful to you, and what you decide makes the most sense does NOT have to be the same as what I’m about to suggest, or what your friend or sister-in-law is doing. Do what make the most sense for you and your family (and your space!).

The following is simply a suggestion, and a sample, of what I’m talking about: Let’s say I wanted to document my child’s entire life (birth to age 18) and let’s say I use a Childhood Mini Kit per year to document those school-aged memories. That would probably end up being about (8) 2-page layouts per year. Figuring I’ll want to have a few additional layouts for a big trip, birthday, holiday, or some other special occasion … let’s round that up to (12) layouts per year that would summarize that year in my child’s life.

If there are 12 layouts per year, and I know that 60 Photo Pocket Pages fit beautifully in a standard 12×12 album, that means you can essentially get 5 years worth in one album. But let’s remember all the memorabilia that you want to add in the Big Envelope Page (sold out but coming back in May) at the back of the album, right? So with that in there, I am suggesting that you can cover 18 years in 5 albums. Still with me? As an “end result” a child’s complete set of albums could look like this:

Album 1 = First Year (which includes a little family history) … using the Project Life Baby Edition, of course!

Album 2 = Toddler + Preschool Years (yes the Childhood Mini Kits can certainly work great for this, or use any Project Life Core Kit)

Album 3 = Kindergarten + Grades 1 to 4

Album 4 = Grades 5 to 8 (4 year’s worth)

Album 5 = Grades 9 to 12 (4 year’s worth)

I realize many of you reading this are not in the U.S. and your “grades” and “years” aren’t exactly like that. It doesn’t matter. I’m just trying to share the general concept and share the big-picture vision that’s in my head – and perhaps your head too.  : )

I also realize that some of you have children that are older and you’re feeling pretty darn overwhelmed about the idea of several albums per child, if you have more than one kid. I have a friend right now whose daughter is about to graduate from high school and she’s working on telling the story of this girl’s entire childhood in ONE album. And that is awesome. See what I mean? Do what works for you.


I’ve gone on long enough and I don’t want you to sit at your computer all day reading my blog. So let me just end with a series of pictures that will show you a sample year’s worth of Project Life pages using all but a few of the cards in a Childhood Mini Kit.

These 8 layouts would summarize a year in a child’s life. The white cards represent where photos might go (which, for the purpose of these sample layouts, totals 40-45 photos). I’m mostly using the Design A (our most popular design) Photo Pocket Page, but I’m also sprinkling in a few other page designs so that you can see how easy it is to flip cards over, or on their “side”, depending on your photos and which orientation and page design you choose.

Note: Our Big Packs of Design A are currently sold out, but coming to stores in May (very soon!). We do currently have our Big Variety Pack 1 and Big Variety Pack 2 in stock on Amazon. You may want to pick those up while you get your Childhood Mini Kits.

Also note: The following sample pages show cards from the Wellington Edition.


Both pages are Design A.



Design A (left) + Design B (right)



Design B (left) + Design A (right)



Design A (left) + Design F (right)



Design F (left) + Design A (right)



Both pages are Design A.



Both pages are Design A.



Both pages are Design A.


As a reminder, the Childhood Editions are not only 20% off on Amazon, but so are the digital version of these editions on AC Digitals.

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 10.37.30 PM



19 Responses

  1. Mary says:

    Thank you for laying it all out for us and taking out the hard part. Love this!

  2. Sue says:

    Awesome inspiration Becky! I’m totally embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t even thought of creating a mini album about my own childhood, I have few photos, but I’m OK with that since I have tons to write!

    I have been toying with the idea of tackling just two albums each (oh make that 3 since I already have the baby kits) for my two children. I think that will be more than enough for them to take with them when they leave home (they are already 14!).

  3. Laura says:

    Hi – I really like the design of the Wellington mini kit. (purchased digital version as soon as it came out) However I think the boxed kit is too small. I would really like it produced as a full Project Life kit. What if a card is damaged or the kid/adult writing on it makes a mistake or doesn’t like how it turned out. Also for some of the prompt cards you could easily use several of the same card in the same year of school ie. Good Times, That Was Hard, Worth Mentioning, Downtime, So Much Fun etc. Plus price….. the mini kit only has 100 cards for $14.99 (when not on sale) and the regular Project Life kits have over 600 cards for $29.99. Also wondering if all the new products that are coming out next month will be available on Amazon? If not do you know what major retailers will be carrying the Project LIfe products? All in all I’d like to say that Project Life has completely changed how I document life – it is an absolutely wonderful product and I am a huge supporter. (I’ve got at least 4 other people using your products). I think it’s evident how wonderful of a concept Project Life is by the number of manufacturers currently imitating it!!! Wishing you much success with all the new products being released in May. Can’t wait!!!

    • Sue says:

      Becky mentioned previously that the new line would be carried on Amazon. Also that they are working on a list of retailers (a tool so you can search retailers near you) that should be released shortly. If you follow her Facebook page or Twitter or Instagram she regularly answers these questions.

    • S. Bailey says:

      She also mentioned, I think yesterday, that she went to Hobby Lobby because they were setting the walls in anticipation of the arrival of her products.

  4. LeAnne B says:

    Thank you for this post Becky! I am totally a “think with the end in mind” person so I loved the example of the amount of albums. I’m working on daughter #2’s baby album (started it before the baby products arrived but still Project Life approach) but I am going back and adding the family history pages at the beginning. Doing that little bit of family history has gotten me so excited to go back and do my own and my husband’s childhood memories using your products. That project is still a little bit down the road, being realistic here, but it will happen. I love your products so much!! Your products are getting my pictures off my computer and my memories out of my head and recorded. I love having our albums out for us to enjoy! Thank you so much!

  5. LOVE this so much! My approach to scrapbooking has always been just traditional family albums which include ALL photos taken (including each child’s birthday, school photos, etc.) & the photos are all placed into the albums in chronological order. My kids will not get to take these albums when they leave home… they will be forced to come back & visit whenever they want to look through them. ;)

    However, I’m so in love with these Childhood Mini Kits that I must find a way to use them. My younger child (girl) will be 13 in June & I’ve decided to do a mini album of “Brittany’s First Year as a Teenager,” starting on the day she turns 13, & then presenting her with the completed album on her 14th birthday. I am going to try to keep most of it a surprise (not allowing her to see the album in progress) but I also want to involve her in filling in some of the journaling, plus I think she will comply more as I try to take specific photos if she knows it’s for something I’m working on for her.

    I ordered my Childhood Mini Kit (Wellington edition) since they were on sale, & it just arrived yesterday! I’m so itching to use it & I have to wait till June 21st!

    Anyway, I just wanted to share another way to use this kit. My son is a sophomore, but I’m already planning on possibly doing one for his senior year.

    Thanks so much, Becky! :)

  6. Krista says:

    I just purchased the mini kits & I am so excited. I have your (old school) childhood traditional scrapbooking set for my kids, but it has been a chore to get those done every year because it seems like so much planning! I don’ t know why I didn’t think about incorporating the project life page protectors earlier – it will be a perfect compliment to my core materials. It is less work for me (no more worrying about layouts or what size to print photos) and the kids will be happier. I was really having a hard time getting the kids excited about journaling on a 12X12 piece of paper with the old kit (especially my 6 year old son who doesn’t like to write). But, put a little journal card in front of them & they are happy to help. Same journal prompt, but very different reaction! Can’t wait for them to arrive.

  7. Nicole says:

    Love the mini kits and have ordered all three of them. The wheels keep spinning in my head about how I’ll approach tackling all of the years, so, the question I am always wondering is if there are going to be new childhood mini kits released every year? That would help me determine whether I’m going to split it up or not. :) Thanks so much for everything. Your a daily inspiration for me!

  8. Nicole says:

    Love the mini kits and have ordered all three of them. The wheels keep spinning in my head about how I’ll approach tackling all of the years, so, the question I am always wondering is if there are going to be new childhood mini kits released every year? That would help me determine whether I’m going to split it up or not. :) Thanks so much for everything. You’re a daily inspiration for me!

    • Nicole says:

      Sorry for the double post, I had to edit something and it wouldn’t let me delete the other one. :)

  9. Chrystal says:

    Hi Becky!
    Thanks for the “thinking ahead” part… I’ve been trying to figure this out. I have a son that is 18 months old. I have (2) 12×12 albums already completed for his first year and family history (using a past-BH baby kit!), and was thinking this is a bit ridiculous! I just stared his 2nd year, using the Childhood Edition, with one layout per month. This is working for me so far, and I think I can get several years into each album this way.

    As always, thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Lindy says:

    Thanks for the in depth Becky!!!!! I have many kits and albums of yours at home just need to actually FIND TIME to sit down and do it.

  11. Brooke says:

    Thanks so much! This is such a great reference guide. I will definitely becoming back and reading this again and probably again. :)

  12. Kim says:

    Becky, I was wondering how you came up with the names of the Childhood Kits. I didn’t see the significance of each one in your post :)

    • Becka says:

      Kim, She mentions in the video that the names are just random cities, & I think one was specifically chosen for New Zealand. The link to the video is in the first line of this post. Hope that helps. :)

  13. J3SS1C4 says:

    What an awesome post full of lots of information! I don’t have kids, yet, but I do want to go back and do childhood albums for myself, so I went and brought all of the childhood mini kits in digital format to use. I’m going to use a mix of the kits when I make the pages. I’ve actually been going through and helping Mum scan all out childhood photos, so it’s fun to go back and look through them all, and I’m excited at the prospect of having them in nice photobooks!

  14. Joelle says:

    Thanks so much for the practical info. The 40-45 pix helps me SO much. I wasn’t sure how to start, but that number gave me something to shoot for. Have been going through iPhoto and rating my fav photos of each kid as 5 stars from this year. Figure that’s a great way to collect those for each child. Especially with Smart Albums that will auto-populate as I go. I’ve already done August 12 thru the present. WOOHOO. Now to just keep getting journalling cards filled out every few weeks. Then put it all together as a summer project! :)

    • Joelle says:

      Oh, and a great suggestion over on the Project Lifers FB page to scan in the kids artwork/homework (as Becky explains in the Childhood Stuff video), print your favorites for their book BUT include the CD of ALL the scans in an envelope at the end of their PL “year.” Love that!